As of Wednesday, Aug. 12, masks will be mandatory for customers of all Walmart locations across Canada.
Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, confirmed in an email statement that this requirement will now apply to customers and workers at all locations where a government mandate to wear a face covering isn’t already in place.
She said more than 60 per cent of Walmart’s 400 stores in Canada already have some form of a government mandate on face coverings.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has not yet imposed a B.C.-wide mandatory mask requirement in public places, although a number of other Canadian jurisdictions have done so.
On Wednesday (Aug. 5), 82 doctors and dentists across the province issued an open letter to Henry, Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix, calling for mandatory masks in B.C.
Fefer said Walmart has chosen to implement a mandatory-mask policy to “bring more consistency across our store network” and to “ensure the well-being of our customers and associates.”
She said customers have done a “great job” in following the requirement in areas where it has already been mandated.
“We trust that customers in the rest of our stores where we are initiating this policy will respect and follow it and will bring their own face coverings when they shop,” she said.
The Abbotsford News did not receive answers to its emailed questions about how the mask mandate will apply to people with health conditions that make it difficult to wear a face mask or at what age it will apply to children.
Fefer said other measures that Walmart will continue to take include wellness checks that include a temperature check for all workers at the start of their shift, limiting customers in the store, and increased cleaning.